Melbourne, Sept 9 : A new revolution in TV viewing will start hitting the Australian market as early as this year.
Today, the Internet can only be accessed on a television set through external hardware such as a games console or computer, such as the Apple TV.
However, these television sets are capable of directly accessing news, weather details, stock quotes and, eventually, on-demand video content from the Internet.
The content will run as "widgets" alongside regular TV shows and poses a significant threat to established free-to-air and pay TV broadcasters, which already see the Internet as a way for viewers to bypass their networks.
Samsung is aiming to start offering the internet-enabled television sets locally by the end of this year or in the first quarter of next year at the latest.
Other big TV makers including Sony, Philips, Panasonic and LG have shown off similar models overseas but would not comment on their launch plans for Australia.
"Your TV is becoming a computer entertainment hub - so it's not just for TV viewing. [Initially] you'll be able to have stock, news, sports and weather information streamed on your LCD or plasma," the Sydney Herald quoted the Samsung Australia senior product manager Evan Manolis said, as saying.
The widgets could be switched on or off and positioned on the screen by the user but they would appear as a layer on top of the program.
However, Manolis said that the platform would evolve next year to including the ability to surf the web freely and access music and video content provided by a local content provider such as Yahoo7 or Ninemsn.